Friday, 26 December 2014

Swaddling cloths and baby Jesus

Cant believe I slept the evening away! Its been a very long week and a longer day too.  I have not even gotten round to opening the beautifully wrapped presents under my Christmas tree. As much as I am excited and looking forward to doing that right before crawling back into the bed, I am not in too much of a hurry.
In all the excitement and build up to Christmas day, you'd think I'd jump headlong into opening the presents first thing in the morning but no! I have saved that chore till the very end.

 But  there is a gift I eagerly opened this morning and its the gift of Christmas itself.  God's gift to mankind did not come wrapped in a fancy package with intricately tied ribbons or tucked beneath a tree but was lovingly wrapped in swaddling cloths and laid in a manger amongst animals. HOW IRONIC! Christmas is synonymous with beautifully decorated Christmas trees and lovingly wrapped gifts carefully placed under the trees. But  there was nothing beautiful or appealing about where  the greatest gift to mankind was found. 
The saviour of the world was found in the least likely place-AN ANIMAL SHELTER. He was not wrapped in fancy clothes but covered in swaddling cloths. The wise men in their quest for the saviour had gone searching in the palace which is where kings are born but not this one! HE WAS BORN IN A MANGER. "while they were there, the time came for the baby to be born,and she gave birth to her first born, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger  because there was no guest room available for them. Luke 2:6-7
One of the striking lessons about Christmas is that the most beautiful gifts in life don't come beautifully packaged or found in choice places . Some come in rough packages in dark places  and it takes patience, discernment, efforts and faith to reveal the precious inner content. Beautiful diamond necklaces that are favoured by the rich were once ugly rocks found in the depth of the earth until mined.  It takes polishing and refining of these "ugly rocks" by a determined jeweller  before the intrinsic value is seen and appreciated by all.
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Some of the best relationships I have experienced were wrapped in swaddling cloths and found in the manger. Men and women who have impacted my life tremendously simply because I allowed myself to look beyond their packaging. Terrible experiences have also turned out to be blessings in disguise. In all, I've found that the stories that really inspire are those that involve successful business or married couple who saw beyond the ordinary to achieve extraordinary feats. People who don't see ugly rocks but diamonds. People who see beauty in the beast.

Dear friend, your God given vision may be found in the least likely place and wrapped in the most unattractive packaging but that does not deter from its value. don't throw away a great opportunity because it didn't come as you envisaged. 
Disappointments will come but they are set up for glory.Early  this year, I learnt that suit and tie don't make a real man. It hurt at the time but I'm better off without false friends. Ugly and painful situations are only fabrics for great testimonies. BE PATIENT AND TRUST  GOD EVEN IN YOUR PAIN.
Finally,Are you one of those that judge a book by its cover? Do you look beyond  the wrappings of the opportunities? How many people have you cast aside simply because they didn't come in the package you expected only to realise you made a mistake? How do you view challenges?Successful people will tell you that their best business ventures did not come perfectly wrapped but they recognise the hidden potentials despite the obvious challenges. THEY SAW BEYOND THE PACKAGING 
Thankfully the wise men saw beyond the wrappings on the little boy and recognised the king that Jesus is.


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